Jamie Hopp’s three-run double in the first inning gave Hanford an early lead, and the Flames took advantage of five West Valley errors in a 10-4 victory Sunday over the Bees in the Central Washington League junior legion playoffs at Roy Johnson Field.
Jon Miles added two hits and two RBIs for Hanford.
The Flames will play the Kennewick Phantoms at 5 p.m. Monday for the No. 1 seed to state. Kennewick would have to beat Hanford twice to earn the top seed. If the Phantoms lose, they will travel to face the No. 2 seed out of the Selah bracket for the No. 3 seed to state.
West Valley Bees 000 030 1 — 4 7 5
Hanford Flames 301 501 x — 10 6 0
Corey Love, Austin Dean (4) and Casey Johnston; Henry Sawyer, Aaron Beitz (7) and Jon Miles. Highlights—Jamie Hopp (H) 2B, 3 RBI; Miles (H) 2x3, 2 RBI; Brady Heid (H) 2R; Kyle Conrad (WV) 2x4; Dillon Peters (WV) 2x4, 2 2B.
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Phantoms 14, Rams 0: Kennewick scored plenty of runs early, allowing ace Kaeden Julian to rest for today’s big test against Hanford.
Alex Storaci hit a two-run single in the first inning and added another RBI single during a five-run second as the Phantoms took a 7-0 lead after two.
Dylan Wilbert went 3-for-4 with a double, a home run and two RBIs. Izayah Darby added two hits and two RBIs for Kennewick.
“We really got some momentum going early with our bats. We got some big hits from Wilbert and Storaci,” said Kennewick manager Corey Nelson.
Kennewick 251 42 — 14 15 2
West Valley Rams 000 00 — 0 2 2
Kaeden Julian, Jose Oliva (3) and Dylan Wilbert; Josh King, Kyle Chauvin (3), Austin Dean (5) and Casey Johnston. Highlights—Wilbert (K) 3x4, 2B, HR, 2 RBI; Mark Driver (K) 2x3, 2B; Alex Straci (K) 3x3, 3 RBI; Colton Plew (K) 2x3; Quentin LaFontaine (K) 2x3; T.J. Rea (K) 2x3; Izayah Darby (K) 2x3, 2 RBI.
Knights survive Selah: Chad Miller slugged a three-run double, Hunter Chambers went 3-for-4 with a triple and three RBIs, and the Knights downed host Selah 13-3 in five innings to advance to today’s championship.
Richland will take on Walla Walla, which beat the Knights 3-2 in their opener Saturday, at 5 p.m. at Hanford High. Richland needs to take two to finish first and automatically qualify for state; a single win for Walla Walla sends the Knights to a play-in game against the No. 2 team from the Kennewick bracket.
Trey Hardy went the distance Sunday for Richland, which almost didn’t get past Saturday’s loser-out game with Moses Lake.
The Knights rallied for four runs in the bottom of the seventh for an 8-7 victory, tying the game on Tyler Kjarmo’s squeeze bunt and winning it on Hardy’s “sluggy” — squaring to bunt to get the fielders to charge in and then swinging away.
Richland 333 40 — 13 12 1
Selah 200 10 — 3 8 2
Trey Hardy and Tyler Kjarmo, Collin Doyle (5); Hall and Spencer. Highlights—Hunter Chambers (R) 3x4, 3B, 3 RBI; Chad Miller (R) 3-R 2B; Connor Craig (R) 2x2; Payton Radliff (R) 2x4; Kjarmo (R) 2B; Sheldon Liikala (R) 2x3.
Richland 000 020 0 — 2 6 3
Walla Walla 101 100 x — 3 7 1
Tyler Kjarmo and Hunter Merkle; Reardan and Fulmer. Highlights—Gibson McGeorge (R) 2x3; Jake Ellis (R) 2B; Hunter Merkle (R) 1x3, 2 RBI; Lake (WW) 3x3.
Moses Lake 040 003 0 — 7 12 0
Richland 310 000 4 — 8 9 3
Price, Street (4), Hernandez (6) and Huberdeau; McGeorge, Carson Miller (2), Sheldon Liikala (6) and Kjarmo. Highlights—Mick Baily (ML) 2B; Jacob Price (ML) 2x4, 2B; Springer (ML) 2B; Hernandez (ML) 3x4; Rios (ML) 2x3; McGeorge (R) 3x4, 2B, 3B; Connor Craig (R) 2x4, 2B, 2 RBI; Trey Hardy (R) 2x4.